KSEB hopes dam shutters need not be raised

The weather is clearing over Kerala, and it appears that the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will be able to avert the need to open the shutters of the Idukki dam since the inflow of water from the catchments of the reservoir is expected to come down gradually over the next couple of days.

The rainfall belt under the current spell of the southwest monsoon along the west coast of the country has moved away from Kerala. The numerical weather prediction models of the India Meteorological Department, based on Sunday’s conditions, show blue skies over the State for the next three days.

During the 24 hours ending at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday, Idukki district received only a few light showers in isolated places. During daytime on Sunday, rain kept away from the catchments of the Idukki reservoir.

The KSEB has stepped up power generation at the Idukki project to the maximum possible level during the past four days to drain out, productively, as much water as possible from the brimming reservoir. Power generation at Idukki was stepped up from the level of 8.855 million units on Tuesday to 15.345 million units on Wednesday, 16.685 million units on Thursday, 16.89 million units on Friday and 18.19 million units on Saturday.

The Idukki reservoir on Sunday had water storage touching 98 per cent of its capacity. The southwest monsoon has started withdrawing from parts of northwest India, and in another week or so, may withdraw from the southern tip of the Subcontinent as well.

Sunday, September 22, was the second equinox of the calendar year and from Monday, the sun will start on its journey over the southern hemisphere, as a result of which the wind direction over the Subcontinent will change. Usually, after a few days of lull, by the middle of October, the northeast wind flow, bringing the northeast monsoon, will begin over the southern peninsula.

The KSEB will be aiming to keep the water level in Idukki reservoir sufficiently low to receive the inflow it expects during the northeast monsoon. So the Idukki power generators will continue to throb vigorously for a few more days.